Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Selva Marina's Plans Not on Par with Some Residents; the Country Club Wants to Sell Some Its Land to Fund Its Pending Renovations

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Selva Marina's Plans Not on Par with Some Residents; the Country Club Wants to Sell Some Its Land to Fund Its Pending Renovations

Article excerpt

Byline: DREW DIXON

ATLANTIC BEACH - Some neighbors of Selva Marina Country Club are lashing out at the club, saying its plans to sell some land to a developer could damage their community's character.

The club has been planning a $15 million overhaul of the golf course and clubhouse complex for years and is finalizing those plans. Club officials want to sell 25 of their 167 acres for residential development and use the proceeds to pay for the renovation, which could be complete in 2008.

That has some neighbors on edge.

"There was no consultation with the residents prior to the plan being approved," said Dennis Blasko, who lives on Linkside Court North, along the Country Club's seventh fairway. "At no time did the club contact any of us to discuss what would have an immediate impact on this entire community."

Blasko and his neighbor John Hull are among dozens of residents who live in the Selva Linkside II subdivison, and even more live in Selva Linkside I. Hull said the renovation and construction of housing on some of the Country Club property could cause a shift in the community character and harm golf course living for some residents who purchased their homes for the views.

"I was totally sold on the view. I looked at the house and liked it," said Hull, noting if the Country Club proposal goes through as planned, his home's character will change.

"The view won't be there and I'll have cars going by. I'll lose my privacy as well as the peaceful neighborhood that I live in, which is why I moved here," Hull said.

Selva Marina Country Club President Alan Ennis said he's surprised at the backlash from some of the residents. He said the club's board members have been honest about intentions to renovate and that he detailed the proposed renovations in a Shorelines story in June.

Ennis said the club originally wanted to sell land on the western edge of the its property, but now wants to sell a portion on the southeast corner of the property, in and around the golf driving range, that runs along the west side of Selva Marina Drive.

"No one has contacted me directly," Ennis said, adding he met with representatives from both Selva Linkside homeowners associations.

The 640-member country club, founded in 1958, has served as a social and athletic focal point for generations of First Coast residents who want to take advantage of its 12 clay tennis courts, 100-foot swimming pool and 18-hole golf course.

The course was the home of the first years of the Greater Jacksonville Open tournament in 1965 and 1966; that tourney eventually became The Players Championship, which has since moved to Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach.

"Without significant improvement, in my mind, there is grave concern over the club being able to exist," Ennis said. "This isn't Selva Marina Country Club trying to make money off of selling land and building houses. …

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